Athlete Recipes: Downhill Skier Aksel Svindal’s Skier’s Sandwich
The difference between hitting the summit and hitting the wall often comes down to the fuel in your belly. Here, 11 pros share their favorite nutritional secrets and performance-enhancing recipes.
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
THE MEAL: Svindal’s Norwegian, so it’s only natural that the ski-racing superstar eats a lot of fish. “I wish I could tell you that I eat fresh cod that I catch myself in the Atlantic,” says Svindal, 29. “Sadly, I don’t—but I do order lots of salmon.” Which takes care of his omega-3’s. But surprisingly, after Svindal has spent five hours training in the gates, he reaches for classic American fare: a big ol’ sandwich and a glass of milk. The Olympic gold medalist and two-time World Cup overall champ says that dark, whole-grain bread, along with a side of cheese, is a common meal in Scandinavia, but he chooses to eat it as a sandwich because he can pack in lots of veggies and turkey or chicken. He follows it up with a tall glass of one percent milk.
WHY IT WORKS: Says Korzun, that the right kind of bread is a great source of carbohydrates for anybody skiing hard all day—“especially when you’re shivering at the top of an 8,000-foot mountain. The cold and altitude will cause you to burn even more calories, and whole-grain bread will replenish that energy. But because it’s high in fiber, it won’t cause an insulin spike, which makes you feel tired.” To be sure your bread is made from whole grains, look for the 100-percent whole grain stamp on the packaging.
SECRET INGREDIENT: Milk contains two kinds of protein that are great for any athlete: whey, which absorbs faster than any other protein, helping muscles regenerate, and casein, which absorbs more slowly and helps you stay strong later in the day.
SMOKED TURKEY, VEGETABLES, AND WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD
1. Between two slices of whole-grain bread, add five ounces of sliced turkey or chicken and vegetables like avocado, lettuce, sprouts, and tomato. (Use at least three colors of veggies for a range of vitamins.)
2. Add Norwegian brown cheese or goat cheese.
CALORIES PER SERVING: 540